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Turnovers lead to Ranger win over Broncos

NMMI freshman quarterback Cody Frampton with a pass attempt against Kilgore College at St. John Memorial Stadium in Kilgore, Texas. Frampton aided a Bronco comeback bid that just fell short by throwing for pair of touchdowns in the second half. (NMMI Sports Press Photo)

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KILGORE, TEXAS – The Bronco football team shutout Kilgore College in the second half, but couldn’t overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, dropping a conference game on the road to the Rangers, 17-15.

NMMI turned the ball over on their first three possessions of the game. The first two resulted in two Kilgore College touchdowns in under five minutes of play, while the third killed a 65 yard drive into red zone territory with a fumble on the Ranger 14 yard line.

After the miscues, neither team managed to score until Kilgore added a 41-yard field goal with just over two minutes left in the second quarter.

The Broncs came out with a vengeance in the third, however. A stingy Institute defense put NMMI’s first points on the board with a safety; and an inspired Bronco offense – led by back-up quarterback Cody Frampton – drove 47 yards in 5 plays after the free kick, to make it a brand new ball game: 17-8 with 11:17 still left in the third.

After a scoring hiatus similar to the first half, NMMI would strike again. Frampton tossed his second TD pass of the game, hitting wide-out Brydan McCoy in the back corner of the end zone to make it 17-15 after the PAT, with 5:26 left in the fourth.

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Trailing by two, the Bronco defense was once again called upon to get a stop. And it looked like they would do exactly that, when, with almost four minutes remaining on the clock, Ranger lined up to punt on fourth and two from their own 33.

During the ensuing play, it looked like one of the members of the Bronco defense got a partial punt block, forcing the kick high into the air, before he collided into the punter, which drew flags from two back judges. The ball then bounced backwards from the Kilgore 40, all the way back to the 15. Because of the flags on the field, Kilgore’s players just stopped, but NMMI’s Lequan Lewis-Hicks picked up the ball and ran it into the end zone, and was signaled for the touchdown by the head official.

Unfortunately for the Broncos, after a lengthy on-field discussion, it was ruled that no partial block occurred (which would have negated the roughing penalty and allowed the play to stand), giving the Rangers a first and ten from the Kilgore 48.

Undaunted, NMMI’s defense again came through, forcing a punt which pinned the Broncos back at their 10 yard line with no time outs and 2:08 left to play.

Frampton passes, along with a few scrambles, moved NMMI up to their 46, before a final Bronco fumble gave possession back to Kilgore.

With the loss, NMMI drops to 2-4 overall and 0-4 in conference. They’ll try and regroup next week at home vs. Blinn College on Sat. Oct. 14.

That game is part of NMMI’s Cancer Awareness Week, with special activities planned before, during and after the game: a field goal kicking contest with gift cards as prizes, dunk tanks and a whip-cream pie toss. Kickoff for that game is slated for 2:00 p.m. at the Colt Football Field on the Institute campus.

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